Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Tracy West: retail commentator

I'm as happy to do my bit for the planet as the next person, however I do feel that some companies are rushing through changes without properly researching them first. Take McDonald's. I love a McDonald's milkshakemmmm. But, when I had one the other day, imagine my displeasure when the new paper straw went all soggy and collapsed halfway through my drink!

Now, I know this is one of those 'First World' problems and there are much bigger issues at stake, but I was a bit peeved. Since then, people have been complaining about these new straws on social media so I know it's not just me. The straws are probably fine for a Coke or Sprite but for a thick, ice cream milkshake that takes some time to suck up, they are not suitable.

I have now seen that iced drinks maker Polar Krush has withdrawn plastic straws and replaced them with 100% environmentally friendly, paper spoon straws.

The striped straws, which took 18 months to develop, have a 'spoon-like scoop' at one end, are said to be long lasting and 100% biodegradable. The company says that after rigorous testing in frozen drinks, the straw stays rigid for up to an hour sounds perfect for a McDonald's shake.

Sticking with the environment and soft drinks, there's been much talk recently of a Deposit Return Scheme being adopted in the UK to help with the problem of plastic litter. Put simply, 10p or 20p is added to the price of a soft drink and consumers get this back by returning their bottle to a 'designated collection point'. These 'points' could be machines that collect the bottles and give the desposits back however, if these collection points include independent retailers, it could be a real hassle regarding storage and queues of people waiting to get their deposits back.

Also it means people like me, who recycle their plastics at home, will have to put the bottles aside and make a special journey to the 'designated collection point' to get their deposits back or simply face paying more for soft drinks. And I'd probably be using my car to do this which wouldn't be particularly environmentally friendly.

As I say, I do wonder whether people think these things through.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 12 August 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands132.3882.90140.96129.04
North East131.01141.52128.85
North West131.7261.90139.66128.96
Northern Ireland129.24135.57126.71
South East132.9759.90141.37129.82
South West132.33140.93128.95
West Midlands132.06141.78129.37
Yorkshire & Humber131.4669.57142.64128.74

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